Information for Researchers
Scope and Content of Collection
Collection Title: Mexía family papers
Date (inclusive): 1694-1951
Collection Number: BANC MSS M-B 1
Mexía, José Antonio, 1790-1839.
Mexía, Enrique Guillermo Antonio, 1829-1896.
Mexía, Ynés, 1870-1938.
Number of containers: 5 boxes, 1 volume, 1 oversize portfolio, 1 oversize folder, and 1 tube.
Linear feet: 5.25
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Abstract: Contains the papers of several Mexía family members including José
Antonio Mexía, Enrique Guillermo Antonio Mexía, and Ynés Mexía. The papers
consist of correspondence, legal documents, and writings relating to their family's connection with Mexico and
Texas. It also includes copies of legal documents of the Mexía family in Spain before they came to the
New World. Papers do not include Ynés Mexía's documents relating to her career as a botanist,
which are in the Ynés Mexía Papers at the Bancroft and papers at the California Academy of
Sciences. The Mexía Collection represents a cross section of Mexican life, business, politics, and
relations with the United States for a period of more than a century and includes correspondence with many high
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in Spanish and English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice
may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the
Library's online catalog.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in
writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94270-6000.
Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to
include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is
restricted to research and educational purposes.
[Identification of item], Mexía Family Papers, BANC MSS M-B 1, The Bancroft Library, University of
Alternate Forms Available
Volume 1 and portions of Box 1 also available on microfilm. (BANC MSS M-B 1 FILM)
Ynés Mexía papers (BANC MSS 68/130)
Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library. (BANC PIC
1905.13069-.13070-PIC and BANC PIC 1934.003-.004--POR) Objects have been transferred to the Pictorial
Collections of The Bancroft Library. (BANC PIC 19xx.031:082)
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public
Mexía, José Antonio,
Mexía, Enrique Guillermo Antonio,
Mexía, Ynés, 1870-1938--Archives
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Land grants--Texas--Maps, Manuscript
Mexico--Social life and customs
Mexico--Politics and government
Mexico--Foreign relations--United States
Mexico--History--European intervention, 1861-1867
Tampico (Tamaulipas, Mexico)--History--19th century
Illuminated manuscripts--Spain--18th century
The Mexía Family Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Ynés Mexía and her
estate over the years 1934 to 1955.
No additions are expected.
System of Arrangement
Arranged to the folder level.
Re-processed by Alison E. Bridger in 2007.
José Antonio Mexía
A Cuban, José Mexía came to Mexico in 1823. He was a federalist who rose to the position of
general in the Mexican Army. Upon being sent by Montezuma, the commandante at Tampico, to punish Texas rebels,
in 1832, Mexía changed his views concerning Texas and turned back to Tampico. He attempted to obtain
help from New Orleans and returned to Mexico in November 1835 with three ships. He succeeded in capturing the
port of Tampico but lost the town. While fighting against Santa Anna's troops at Acajete he was taken prisoner
on May 3, 1839 and was executed three hours later.
José Antonio Mexía married Charlotte Walker, daughter of English parents, in Mexico City on
August 5, 1823. Their children were: Adelaide Matilde, born in 1826; Enrique Guillermo Antonio born in 1829;
and José Carlos.
Enrique Guillermo Antonio Mexía
Enrique Guillermo Antonio Mexía began his military career as a Second-Lieutenant in the Mexican army
during the war with the United States, 1845-1847. During the war he was taken prisoner by U.S. troops. After
his release, he lived in Mexico and Texas where he owned land inherited from his father.
Mexía took part in the Mexican three year war, "La Reforma" (1857-1860), fighting on the side of the
liberal party, which was trying to establish a new constitution. During the European intervention that
followed, Mexía served on several diplomatic missions for the exiled Juarez government. On one
occasion he was commissioned to go to the United States to purchase arms for the Mexican army. He was also in
charge of the defense of the ports of Tampico, Vera Cruz, and Bagdad (near the Texan border), where there were
several conflicts with American troops. One of these conflicts included an attack made by African American
troops in January 1866 when American authorities seized the property of Mexican citizens in the custom house
at Brownsville, Texas.
After Emperor Maximilian's execution, Mexía was engaged chiefly in suppressing minor revolts against
the Juarez government. During the period of turmoil following the death of President Juarez in 1872,
Mexía was sent to the United States to purchase arms for the state of Puebla, loyal to
Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada in his struggle with Porfirio Díaz for the presidency. During the
period of 1880 to 1896, Mexía was occupied with improvements in Mexico such as railroads, electricity
and steamship lines. He also was active in politics, serving as deputy from Temascultepec to the Mexican
Enrique Guillermo Antonio Mexía married Sarah Ramsey Wilmer from the United States in 1868.
Daughter to Enrique Guillermo Antonio Mexía and Sarah Ramsey Wilmer, Ynés Mexía
was educated in the United States, including at the University of California, Berkeley. She became an eminent
botanist and collected specimens on field trips in Mexico, Central and South America, and Alaska for the
University of California, Berkeley and the Smithsonian Institution.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Mexía Family Papers contain the papers of several Mexía family members including
José Antonio Mexía, Enrique Guillermo Antonio Mexía, and Ynés
Mexía. The papers consist of correspondence, legal documents, and writings relating to their family's
connection with Mexico and Texas. It also includes copies of legal documents of the Mexía family in
Spain before they came to the New World. Papers do not include Ynés Mexía's documents relating
to her career as a botanist, which are in the Ynés Mexía Papers at the Bancroft and papers at
the California Academy of Sciences. The Mexía Collection represents a cross section of Mexican life,
business, politics, and relations with the United States for a period of more than a century and includes
correspondence with many high level officials.